Home Industry News Releases Women for WineSense to Hold Networking Mixer at St. Clair Brown Winery

Women for WineSense to Hold Networking Mixer at St. Clair Brown Winery


JULY 23, 2014: Napa, California – The Napa|Sonoma chapter of Women for WineSense (WWS) will host a professional networking event, at St. Clair Brown Winery in Napa on Thursday, August 14, 2014, from 5:30 to 8:00 p.m., open to the public. Guests will enjoy a showcase of nine wines, paired with appetizer bites from the garden created by Executive Chef Norma Whitt.

“With such top-notch talent in WWS’ membership, we like to match them up with beautiful event locations. St. Clair Brown’s lovely garden and urban winery makes an ideal setting for our members and guests to mingle, network and admire their garden-to-table fare. We’re looking forward to learning about this unique winery, micro-brewery, eatery and garden business model and its place in Napa created by the dynamic co-owners, Elaine St. Clair and Laina Brown,” said chapter President Christine Mueller.

The “Connect with the WWS Community II” annual event will focus on networking opportunities for the organization’s members and non-members. “WWS has helped me achieve my personal and professional goals by giving me access to a network of talented and diverse professional women.  I have built some incredibly valuable relationships – many have led to new business opportunities, others have led to new friendships, and some have led to both,” offered WWS member Michelle M. Ausburn, CPA, Senior Manager at Burr Pilger Mayer, Inc. Attendees are encouraged to bring plenty of business cards to exchange with friends and other colleagues in the wine and hospitality industries.


This urban winery, micro-brewery and garden-inspired eatery offers a unique setting to enjoy the nine wines they produce and small plates crafted from seasonal produce grown in the 4,800 square foot onsite garden. Even the landscaping is edible, having replaced the property’s trees with fruit trees, and the shrubbery with herbs and edible perennials.

While St. Clair Brown is permitted to produce 45,000 gallons, they currently produce approximately 200 cases each of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, Zinfandel, Rosé, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio and Muscat—all of which is targeted to complement the food in their eatery.


Hailing from Cambridge, England, Elaine St. Clair, Co-Owner, Winemaker & Brewmaster, has been making wine for 30 years. Her family moved to the U.S. when she was a child and she ended up with a degree in Fermentation Science from U.C. Davis for both winemaking and brewing. She landed on the winemaking team at Domaine Chandon where she spent eleven years but also opened Napa Ale Works as Co-Owner and Head Brewer. When she and her retiring business partner chose to close the ale works, she returned to winemaking full-time as Co-Winemaker at Domaine Carneros, where she met Laina Brown.

Laina Brown, Co-Owner and President, had a long and successful career in the Los Angeles fashion industry. But upon relocating to Napa more than a decade ago, Laina transferred her skills to the wine industry, serving as Marketing Director at both Intervine, Inc., and eventually Domaine Carneros, where she also served as Director of Hospitality. When Domaine Carneros changed hands, she became the founding President of Black Stallion Winery, overseeing the final construction and opening of the winery in 2007. Shortly after its opening she asked Elaine St. Clair to join her as Head Winemaker.

When the winery was sold in 2010, Elaine and Laina decided to continue working together and to create a company that reflected their passions. They started the St. Clair Brown brand in 2010, making small lot, hand-crafted wines. In 2013, they opened the culinary garden and eatery to share their wine and beer in a garden-to-table experience.

Elaine St. Clair
Elaine St. Clair
Laina Brown
Laina Brown


Both WWS members and non-members are welcome to attend this unique experience for only $35 per person and $60 for non-members. For more details and to purchase tickets, go to: https://wws-st-clair-brown.eventbrite.com/ or call (707) 996-8740.

Upcoming Napa|Sonoma Women for WineSense 2014 major chapter events include “Women in Wine” at Silver Oak Winery in Oakville on September 11th and “Wine on America’s Holiday Table” on December 11th at Raymond Vineyards in St. Helena. Additional Wednesday Wine Club, meetup and roundtable events are scheduled throughout the remainder of the year.

Women for WineSense is a not-for-profit organization 501(c)6 formed in 1990 as a way to promote women working in the wine industry. WWS is committed to being the premiere wine organization offering outstanding education programs, member benefits, and networking opportunities to industry professionals and wine enthusiasts. The Napa/Sonoma Chapter currently has more than 300 members of which 80% are professionals in the wine industry. To join or learn more about membership, please contact Ellen Reich Luchtel at [email protected] or visit the WWS chapter’s website: WWSNapaSonoma.com.

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